We all Need to be Our Own Advocate

In March of 1973, Los Altos was experiencing the explosion of springtime. Hillsides were awash in emerald green and fruit trees were laden with pink and white popcorn-esque blossoms. The hint of ensuing warm weather brought excitement to city dwellers and one could not help but feel re-born. All except my mother.

Lassie Pearce Madden was an intuitive woman. So perceptive that I often thought she had psychic powers for she seemed to be able to sense the trouble her children were about to get […]

A Way to Never Forget

As the afternoon sun poured through the sliding glass window, I Velcroed my nine-year-old body against the kitchen wall to feel its warmth. It dripped down my tummy like hot fudge over vanilla ice cream. I closed my eyes and prepared to daydream, but as the darkness engulfed me, fear overwhelmed my thoughts.

“Mom, what’s it like to be dead?” I probed tentatively as she prepared dinner.

She looked over her shoulder, penciled eyebrows in a perfect arch, and giggled, “I have no idea. I’m not […]

Wonder & Awe

“Now class, pay attention!” Sister Mary Margaret began authoritatively with Monday’s dissertation on spiritual life. “You must be present to witness God’s wonder and awe.”

In 1964, nuns at St. Charles Grammar School, in San Carlos, had a way of beating a subject (religious or otherwise) into the concrete floors of our upper-level classroom. With a four-foot-long pointer in hand, our teacher walloped her elongated weapon for decorum across her palm as she praised God’s mystical glory.

“How can you be present for something you can’t […]

Forever Young

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” – Satchel Page

One evening, while feeding my father his nightly bowl of vanilla ice cream, I looked into his wise old face and wondered what went through the mind of a man his age.

“Dad, what’s it like to be 95,” I asked, ready for an inspiring revelation.

“I have no idea,” he answered.

“What do you mean, you have no idea?” I giggled. “Think of all the things you’ve seen in your lifetime. […]

The World is about Karma

In my profession as a Realtor, I’m constantly shocked over the feelings buyers have about a death in the family home. In most cases, it’s an absolute deal breaker.

When my dad moved in with me, I realized that this might easily be a possibility when it was his turn to go home. At 95, he could pass away any day, any hour, any minute. I knew I needed to prepare my children.

At first, their reaction was typical – “how creepy.” Could they ever sleep […]

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